Water cess: India

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Industries: Water consumption

Industries: Water cess, some facts

The Times of India

Dec 28 2014

Industries getting thirstier, paying up more water cess

Vishwa Mohan Industries' thirst for water is increasing and so is the amount being paid by them as water cess. Recently released figures from the environment ministry show that the total amount, collected as water cess from industries in different states, has increased by over Rs 40 crore in the past three years.

Uttar Pradesh, united Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab are the top five states to continuously contribute to the central kitty, which is being used to take pollution abatement measures in the country .

Under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Acts, 1977, the states' pollution boards are required to collect water cess which is levied on the quantity of water consumed by the industries and local authorities (municipal bodies).

Presently, it is levied on all industries except those which consume less than 10 kilolitres of water per day .This exemption is, however, not meant for industries gen erating hazardous waste.

Figures show that all the states and Union territories collectively collected Rs 220.18 crore as water cess during 2011-12 which increased to Rs 226.19 crore the next financial year which further rose to Rs 261.73 crore in 2013-14.

Though the amount collected is not big, the trend is an indication of the usage gradually increasing. With government focusing on its `Make in India' goal, water usage by industries is bound to rise further. This will make the task of water conservation much more important, given the declining per capita availability of water.

At present, industrial sector uses around 6% of the total available water while 70% of the water goes to agriculture sector for irrigation. As per a survey, conducted by the FICCI in 2011, the water demand for the industrial sector will account for 8.5% of the total available water in 2025 and for 10.1% in 2050.

Many parts of the country have already started facing the pinch. India has 18% of the world's population but only 4% of the water resources.

The annual per capita water availability has decreased from 6,042 cubic metre in 1947 to 1,545 cubic metre in 2011.According to estimates of the water resources ministry , the annual per capita availability of water will further reduce to 1,340 cubic metre by 2025.

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